I don't know if I can really tell you what that means to me. I'm not sure if I could ever really portray to anyone what being aware of Breast Cancer should be. What I know is that I hope NOBODY ever has to go through what our family has gone through because of Breast Cancer. It's not a slogan to me. It's not some catchy little phrase that inspires me to wear pink and go on walks. It's a very real line that I walk everyday. A balance beam. One side is death. One side is life.
My momma, has had breast cancer.
Say hi mom..
What I can tell is that you will never know or want to know for that matter, what it is like to sit in a long hospital hallway and wonder if your mother is going to live or die. It's mind numbing. I remember watching her doctor talk about how they had found WAY more lympth nodes inside her sick and dying breast, and to not be surprised if they couldn't get them all removed.
When I first saw the scar where one of her breasts used to be.. it changes you. Not just as a daughter, but as a woman. Having breasts are a very real part of a woman's identity. A part that my mom didn't get to choose to keep. It's a barren, hard fought, black scar.. There's no way to make removing a breast delicate or kind. It's harsh and cold looking. It looks like a war was fought there.. and my momma didn't win.
But my mom took that scar and made it her badge of honor. She woke up from her surgery and fought the hell out of cancer. I watched her battle through WEEKS of chemo and radiation. Being sick as a dog for months. I helped her shave her head.
Shaving the head of a woman going through chemo/radition is hard. It's so hard. It's like robbing them of a second thing that is so interigal in being a woman.
But my mom never faltered. She rocked the bald head. She rocked breast cancer and has never looked back.
My mom almost died. She could still die from it. I think about that everyday, as I sit 4000 miles away from her. She's fiesty.. and I know that by chance, we fall back off the balance beam we have walked clean for so many years, she would still be ok with that. She's prepared herself for it...because it's a very real reality. It's awe inspiring to see how much courage has come from one scar. She's used the year after year she's gotten clean reports to the best possible use she can. She raises thousands of dollars for breast cancer.. she knits hats for patients who have lost there hair... she's used every little bit of strength that she has in her little tiny body to focus her life towards thinking pink.
And when you are a Breast Cancer surviving family, that's all you can do. Thinking Pink isn't just in October for us, it's all year long.
I think personally that my momma is beautiful all over, inside and out. Her scar has given her courage and heart and determination that I could only dream of having. She moves me with the grace and guts she's used to walk through life.
So when you Think Pink this month.. think of my momma. Think of your momma. Go call her to go to have a mamogram. Heck get one yourself. Remember there are very real, very raw families going through this disease right now as you are reading this. They are new to this fight. They are just staring down this long path that's head.... So get off your chair and call your momma.